( continued from yesterday )
While it’s impossible to get the full scope of a person on a first date, you should be on the lookout for any possible “red flags” that would halt the possibility of a second date. Or perhaps he will have inspired some intrigue in you to invest further in getting more acquainted with him.
So when conversing with the man sitting across from you, think about some of the following points to help you ponder how you’d like to proceed with this particular gentleman:
Does he appear to take care of himself and have good grooming and hygiene? Does he maintain eye contact with you as he speaks or is he looking around the room at the other guys (very disrespectful!)?
Does he appear attentive and genuinely interested in what you have to say? Notice his body posture and whether it’s open or closed.
Does he display a good sense of humor and is he able to laugh, relax, and have fun with your interaction?
Does he exhibit good verbal and social skills or seem stiff and have difficulty maintaining and initiating conversations?
Is there a good balance between his talking about himself vs. his asking you questions about yourself? Or does he monopolize the time talking only about his life? Or does he not engage in any self-disclosure at all?
How are his manners? Is he polite, thoughtful, and considerate? Based on your first impression of his manners, would Mom approve of his behavior? Do you feel comfortable being with him or do you experience embarrassment by his behavior?
What does he talk about? Notice any themes? Does he seem positive and upbeat or negative and pessimistic? When he talks, does he seem judgmental, petty, and put down other people or himself?
Does he seem to have goals, aspirations, and ambitions? Does he exude excitement about life and possibilities? Is he passionate? How well-rounded does he seem? Does he have varied interests and hobbies, have an active lifestyle and seem reasonably intelligent and able to converse about a variety of topics and current events?
Does he place a lot of emphasis on sex during your time together? If so, this may be a priority for him and it’ll be important to ensure what type of relationship he’s seeking (casual sex or dating) so you can decide if this fits with your needs.
At the end of the date, how would you rate the experience and your interest on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the highest? Is there chemistry? Do you feel drawn to him on multiple levels?
Food For Thought
There are, of course, many other questions and criteria you may have, but these points may be a good starting point to launch from on a first date. There tend to be three types of personality styles that men can bring to a first date situation. One are those men who are on their best behavior to try to impress you, gain your approval, or please you to compensate for perceived weaknesses they have so they can “snag” another date from you.
Another type are those men who struggle with shyness, anxiety, and insecurity, so the behavior they display during the date may not actually be reflective of who they really are until they feel more comfortable. And then there are those who present their “real self”, an accurate portrayal of who they really are. It may be helpful to keep this in mind when deciding about whether to transition into an exit or for an invitation for another date.
Knowing who you are and being clear on what you want is critical during your time in the dating pool. This knowledge will take you far in weeding out those men who may not be particularly good matches for you and will save you a lot of time, energy, and frustration. You may need several dates with someone to assess their potential and you may find during the process that some of these men may be more suitable as friends—another addition to your support network!
Thinking too much about these questions can be distracting, so try to avoid being “too much in your head” during the date. Analyzing and being too cognitive will take away from your date, causing you to miss certain cues during the interaction that would be important and lead you to not focus on being a good listener.
Be fully present with your date and enjoy the experience, no matter how it turns out because you will have still learned something. Additionally, try to turn the above questions back on yourself and assess how these factors apply to your style. These questions may provide clues about the areas of your life and personality that are strengths and weaknesses and can be a tool to help you develop goals for self-improvement to make yourself even more “dateable!”
Make sure you’ve crafted your relationship vision and plan and cheers to your dating success!
© Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, The Gay Love Coach
The suggestions and feedback offered in this column are but one perspective of multiple approaches to dealing with problems or challenges. Information provided in articles and advice columns should not be used as a substitute for coaching or therapy when these services are needed. None of this information should be your only source when making important life decisions. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a particular problem, nor should it take the place of a consultation with a trained professional. It is your responsibility to consult a professional prior to making any life decisions.
Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, contributing author to GAYTWOGETHER, is one of the leading love coaches for the gay community. As a licensed dating and relationship coach, Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, DHS, MSW has over 18 years experience as a psychotherapist and life coach specializing in helping GLBT individuals and couples develop and maintain successful and fulfilling intimate relationships. He holds a doctorate degree in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and a master’s degree in clinical social work from Western Michigan University. He also runs a successful private therapy practice, Personal Victory Counseling, Inc. http://thegaylovecoach.com